Extemporaneous speaking is one of many events in which high school speech and debate teams participate. It requires students to research a question about a current event and gives them just 30 minutes to prepare a polished, seven-minute speech.

By Simon Owens

Hampton Stephens didn’t know at first why high school teachers suddenly started subscribing to World Politics Review.

As the founder of the online publication, which provides expert analysis and in-depth news on global affairs, information about new subscribers regularly comes across his desk, and sometime in 2014 he noticed that several new signups were associated with high schools. This was a surprise to him, as they didn’t fit the profile of a typical subscriber.

When he looked into the matter further, he realized it was often a particular kind of high school teacher who subscribed. “There’s a…


Chinese President Xi Jinping waves during a press event to introduce the new members of the Chinese Politburo in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, Oct. 25, 2017 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

With no term limits, and no named successor, Xi Jinping could be the president of China for life. But whispers of dissent might be emerging. Find out what that means for China, and for the U.S., when you read World Politics Review (WPR).

Xu Zhangrun, a law professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, made waves among Chinese academics and China-watchers in July with a published essay denouncing President Xi Jinping’s hard-line policies. The essay has been cited in numerous Western media outlets as a “rare rebuke” of Xi.

The incident and other rumors of internal party dissent led Richard McGregor…


A rally organized near Downing Street to call for more action to curb knife crimes, London, June 3, 2018 (Photo by Alex Cavendish for SIPA via AP Images).

LONDON — In late August, this city achieved a grim milestone: The Metropolitan Police announced they were investigating the 100th “violent death” recorded since the start of the year.

Well before that case was recorded, a spate of violent crime in London had already sparked a lot of somber rhetoric and debate. After an especially bloody spring, media on both sides of the Atlantic seized on the fact that London’s murder rate had eclipsed that of New York City for the first time. In truth, that statistic only applied to February and March; by the year’s halfway point, New York…


young protester holds a placard during an anti-mining rally in the financial district of Makati, south of Manila, Philippines, April 23, 2007 (AP photo by Aaron Favila).

By Lindsay Fendt

Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a two-part series on killings of environmental activists in the Philippines, funded by WPR’s International Reporting Fellowship. The second installment will run Oct. 18.

COMPOSTELA VALLEY, MINDANAO, Philippines — It was just after dawn on the southern island of Mindanao, but police officers already had a call to respond to. Winding their way through the scenic green mountains of the Compostela Valley, they approached the scene of the crime, a patch of dirt on the side of a highway. But when they got there, they found no witnesses, and…


A banner in a town square in the French Alps reads “Welcome Refugees,” Chamonix, France, Oct. 22, 2016 (AP photo by Bertrand Combaldieu).

As the nationalist, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats claimed their best result yet in Sweden’s parliamentary elections in September, the nation’s newspapers went bold with their headlines. “Chaos,” read the front pages, in all caps, of the two largest tabloids. Dagens Industri, a financial newspaper, called the outcome “a political earthquake.” But the subject of their worry was not the rise of the Sweden Democrats, the latest party to surf Europe’s anti-establishment populist wave. Instead, it was the utter fragmentation of the country’s political landscape.That few focused their attention on the far-right party’s performance — it gained seats but still came in…


The skyline of Doha’s West Bay neighborhood, Qatar, Jan. 6, 2011 (AP photo by Saurabh Das).

The standoff pitting Saudi Arabia and the UAE versus Qatar is bringing new tensions to the Persian Gulf, and there’s no end in sight. Will the crisis be too much for the region? Find out more when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR).

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s first official visit abroad to Saudi Arabia in May 2017, long-simmering tensions among America’s allies in the Persian Gulf boiled over. It all started the day after Trump left Riyadh. …


Nigerian soldiers during the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Abuja, May 29, 2015 (AP photo by Sunday Alamba).

Boko Haram no longer represents the same threat it did three years ago. But Nigeria’s heavy-handed military approach to fighting the group might still backfire. Find out more when you subscribe to World Politics Review (WPR).

Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based jihadi movement affiliated with the self-proclaimed Islamic State, has been in decline since 2015, since it began to lose territory around Lake Chad under joint military pressure from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. After retreating from major towns in northeastern Nigeria such as Bama and Mubi, Boko Haram now controls only certain remote rural areas in that corner of the…


A woman holds a sign depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest outside the White House, Washington, July 17, 2018 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

By Steven Metz, July 20, 2018

Everyone other than President Donald Trump’s most ardent loyalists considered his performance at — and after — the recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin a disaster. Standing beside one of America’s most skilled adversaries, Trump blasted his own domestic political opponents, while again adopting the language of dictators by calling the nonpartisan media “an enemy of the people.” He once again accepted Putin’s denial of Russian meddling in America’s 2016 election despite the U.S. intelligence community’s conviction that it happened. Instead of highlighting the deep policy differences between the United States and Russia…


Turkish police officers arrest demonstrators trying to march to Taksim Square, Istanbul, May 1, 2018 (AP photo by Lefteris Pitarakis).

By William Armstrong

A new mosque in traditional Ottoman style is currently being built in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. Due to be completed later this year, it is just one of thousands of new mosques going up across Turkey. But the construction in Taksim is particularly symbolic — an apparent sign of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conquest of the political landscape and ability to reshape the Turkish nation in line with his wishes. He is currently campaigning for snap presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 in which he could further cement his grip.

Despite a surprisingly energetic opposition campaign


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their recent summit, Wuhan, China, April 27, 2018 (Photo by India’s Ministry of External Affairs via AP).

By Anubhav Gupta

The historic inter-Korean summit on April 27 drew global attention, but it overshadowed another important meeting that began the same day between two other neighbors in Asia with their own fraught history. Billed as an “informal summit” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, China, it was a welcome development in their strained relationship that revealed the domestic priorities driving both countries in the short term, as well as the strategic undercurrents that are shaping the Asia-Pacific.

Modi’s visit to the central Chinese city of Wuhan was seen by some as…

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